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Nats at Astros – 3/26/11

Mar 26, 2011, 2:39 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nationals face the Astros at Osceola County Stadium.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — First of all, the news of the morning: There is no news. Or, I should say, there were no cuts made this morning. Everyone was accounted for at Space Coast Stadium before the team bus left for Kissimmee. The guys who didn't make the trip, including Nyjer Morgan, will play in a minor-league game today.

Just about everyone of consequence, though, did make the trip and will be playing here against the Astros. The only projected starters not in the lineup are Jayson Werth (who stayed back) and Adam LaRoche (who is nursing that sore shoulder).

Livan Hernandez gets the start, his final tune-up before Opening Day. In other rotation news, Ross Detwiler will start tomorrow against the Marlins, basically because the Nationals need someone to fill a gap to account for Friday's off-day in the middle of the season's first series against the Braves. John Lannan will start Monday against the Braves, with Jordan Zimmermann going Tuesday against the Mets. Which means the season-opening rotation should be set: Hernandez, Lannan, Zimmermann, Jason Marquis, Tom Gorzelanny. (UPDATE: Actually, Lannan will pitch in a minor-league game tomorrow so as to avoid facing a division opponent. The Nats will call up a minor-leaguer to make a spot start Monday.)

Plenty of updates to come, so check back throughout the afternoon…

Where: Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM)
Weather: Sunny, 83 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to RF

SS Ian Desmond
RF Laynce Nix
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Matt Stairs


  1. Theophilus - Mar 26, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Stairs @ 1B means R&R have decided they are going to keep him and are giving him innings in the field. No reason to showcase him, and if they were going to showcase anybody they'd put Gonzalez at 1B, or Morse at 1B and Morgan in CF. Secondary explanation is that they don't want Morgan exposed any more than he has been. Every 0-3, CS day drives another nail in his market value.

  2. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Agree with Theo re: Stairs. This is a Trust in Rizzo situation.

  3. Doc - Mar 26, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    When does Bill Ladson admit that he was wrong about our Nats' hero Mickey Morse.

  4. Slidell - Mar 26, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Mighty Morse leading the way.

  5. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Could we please stop talking about Morse and Morgan? We have about talked them to death. How about Nix and Stairs? The return of Zimmerman? Livo's pitching?

  6. Slidell - Mar 26, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    O.K. Dave on the radio said that Houston catcher Cancel "swung late on Livo's fastball". Is that possible?

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 26, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Just a quick note as I had to stop by my office to post this. My friggin router went down at the house and I have too much to do to start at the local WiFi connected watering hole. That will come later when Florida takes on Butler.Want to say hi and thank you to those of you who took the time to stop by and say "hi" last nite at the Nats/Cards game. Want to especially thank Natsfan1a for sharing their Lone Cabbage Fish Camp and air boat experience. Glad you enjoyed it.I especially want to thank Mr. Rick D. for your kind words. It means alot coming from someone who has such a vested interest in this franchise. As for last nites game, how about 2 perfect sacrifice bunts from Gorzelany?!?!! He needs to explain to the coaching staff the techniques taught by the Cubs and the Pirates.Off to finish my errands but will be at the game tomorrow in Viera. Anybody around, please stop by section 111 row 3 and say "hi".

  8. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Just curious, what happened to Marquis' turn in the rotation. The last time I heard he pitched was Saturday–that would have meant he could have pitched Thursday. Did he pitch in a minor league game?

  9. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 26, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Marquis did throw in a minor-league game Thursday while Zimmermann pitched against the Tigers. He may have to throw another type of simulated game next week because his day falls on Wednesday (workout day at Nationals Park).

  10. Frediemac - Mar 26, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Wished this counted ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Slidell–You are right. I am a baseball scientist. My calculations say that it is indeed not possible to swing late for a Livo fastball. My computer concluded that the batter was swinging early for the next pitch.

  12. Jim Webster - Mar 26, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Livo is the classiest of the class acts.

  13. N. Cognito - Mar 26, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Astros lineup looks like their AAA team.

  14. CBinDC - Mar 26, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    My take on a Livo fastball is it is like a car through a speed camera trap it suddenly slows down until its past the radar and then speeds up again.

  15. David - Mar 26, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    This game says more about the Astros badness then the Nats goodness. Love that Livo, though.

  16. Frediemac - Mar 26, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    And this one belongs to the Nats

  17. sjm308 - Mar 26, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Everyone realizes that Mark is undefeated in his return to FLA. Right?

  18. N. Cognito - Mar 26, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    14-7 when I wasn't in Florida. 0-5 when I was.I apologize.

  19. N. Cognito - Mar 26, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Make that 15-7. Forgot to count today's game.

  20. sjm308 - Mar 26, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    N. CogBut you were there, that is a positive in itself.Can't wait to go!

  21. Anonymous8 - Mar 26, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    I listened on MLB Radio and had the Astros radio team. They are horrible and don't do their homework well on the Nats and who is who.In the 8th inning they called the Nats the Senators and I don't think they did it to be funny or slick just that they are clueless.

  22. dj in Fl. - Mar 26, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Natsjack—I am in sec 111 row 2 seat 9 tomorrow.See you then.

  23. SBrent - Mar 26, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    As Livo put it: "Sometimes you play golf and birdie doesn't win the hole."Awesome!

  24. Another_Sam - Mar 26, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Yes, Livan is a class act and certainly the ace of the staff in more ways than one. One could see the rapport among players in the group he was loosening up with prior to his previous start.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 26, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    dj…. you're sitting right in front of us.



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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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